“You think you're the only superhero in the world?
Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe.
You just don't know it yet.”
- Nick Fury – Iron Man 2
I have spent a lot of time, months really, trying to convince you to become the best version of yourself. I hope you have both begun the process and enjoyed the journey towards “better”, and I sincerely hope that my previous posts have provided a necessary dose of inspiration. But like Iron Man, you are part of a bigger universe, and an investigation into your obligation to your universe is now required.
We all have a “sphere of influence”, those people who are somehow impacted by the gifts you share with them. Your gifts are different than mine, but could include your kindness, generosity, enthusiasm, or anything else that has a positive impact. But what is your obligation to your sphere of influence? And how can you positively impact them in a way that is meaningful not only to them, but also to you?
Your sphere of influence starts with your family and friends and quickly extends outward, like ripples in a pond, to co-workers and acquaintances, eventually ending with everyone else (even those you don’t know). But what is important when considering your influence? And where do you start?
I believe you build influence by first building trust, creating a feeling for others that “I am safe here”. That “safety” is not only physical, but also emotional, and creating trust and safety is paramount to my success as a Career Consultant and Coach. In fact, I have learned that I am often most successful when I am also most vulnerable.
With that in mind, I recently heard about an exercise designed to increase both connection and understanding between people. In this exercise, you replaced a simple greeting with a longer version which consisted of:
“Hello, my name is…... If you knew me, you would know…...”
This was followed by two similar statements but beginning with “If you really knew me” and “if you really, really knew me”. Each successive statement allows the listener to set aside the usual superficial things we share with each other and gain a better understanding of the person they are talking to. The idea struck me as simple, yet effective, and I thought I would give it a try today. Here goes nothing…
Hello, my name is Keith Soriano and if you knew me you would know that I am the PGA Career Consultant serving the Colorado and Utah Sections. Prior to this role, I worked in the golf industry for almost 17 years, starting while I worked mornings as an intern in the human resources department at the University of Denver and evenings at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield, Colorado. During that time I served as an Assistant Professional, Director of Sales, PGA Head Professional, Player Development Director, Section Operations Director, and Assistant Executive Director.
If you really knew me, you would know that my highest priorities are my faith and being a servant leader as a husband and a father. That I truly believe that being observant of the first thing makes me better at the other. You would also know that I feel like I fail in that regard more often than I care to admit. As a result, I am in a constant state of conflict between priorities and performance that, if I’m not careful, can wear me down and could threaten all parts of my life. However, you would know that pursuit of my faith and being that servant leader mean more to me than any job title, status, or worldly entrapment ever could.
If you really, really knew me, you would know that I come from a military family; grandson to two Veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart, one of whom survived the Bataan Death March and was a POW in both WWII and the Korean War. I’m also the son of an Army 3-Star General; a warrior who led tens of thousands of soldiers and impacted, mentored, and developed even more. You’d also know that, though I began to follow their footsteps and pursue a military career, my life took a different turn. As such, I carry a tremendous amount of guilt and shame for not living up to the family tradition of serving others by taking that oath of service. If you really really knew me, you would know that the only way that I feel I can begin to rectify that professional failure is to push myself as hard as I can to leverage the work I do now to have the most positive impact I can on the lives of others who I am fortunate enough to call friends and colleagues; and even then, I feel as though I fall short.
What does all this mean and why would I share the intimate details of my life here with you? I do it because all of you lie within my sphere of influence. If you take the time to read my life hack advice, it means I need to keep earning your trust, and the only way to do that is to be transparent and honest.
I encourage you to embrace the idea and consider how well you know your people and how well they know you. My next post will discuss how you can best serve all the people in your sphere of influence as a positive force by simply allowing them to really, really know you, and creating the space to allow them to do the same in return.
Now, you really, really know me…
Keith Soriano, PGA
PGA Career Consultant